Thursday, September 27, 2007

Corruption Index Comes Out Again

Transparency International just came out with the annual Corruption Perception Index, ranking the countries of the world based on how corrupt they are. Once again, this country is very corrupt, but some other countries have apparently become even more so because we aren't ranked quite as high - or low, I guess - as we were last year.

Take a look. You can even see how your country compares with others. You might be surprised.

Here's what I posted when the list came out last year.


writer2b said...

Interesting.... Corruption discussed solely as an economic phenomenon. And so are all the proposed solutions, more or less. Isn't that kind of like--I don't know, discussing cancer as a cosmetic problem, or something? Or maybe I'm missing something. There's always a first time! (Kidding, kidding...)

Matsu said...

WOW! The list is very interesting.

First, I'm sorry that your country is not doing even better than it is.

Second, isn't it interesting that Myanmar is in the top two most corrupt countries in the world (according to that one list). And, that is where there is so much civil unrest. There's got to be a correlation.

Tricia said...

Building on Matsu's point, your country isn't that different from Myanmar, but there's not as much civil unrest. Why do you think that is, Ruth? (Note too, that civil unrest in Myanmar is relatively new, even within the past few months.)

I noticed that Scandinavian countries are all in the top 10 least corrupt. They also tend to appear near the top of "happiness" indicators (sorry, can't cite references here). And culture has to play a certain role - in many places, 'cronyism' is pretty ingrained.

Tricia said...

Responding to writer2b - one of the blurbs at the site mentioned that institutions have to be stable - that's why you see more corruption in times of turmoil (e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan). I see a link titled "Corruption drains desperately needed resources, says TI’s Labelle" - implying that poverty results from corruption, not the other way around.

I see "Concerted efforts needed in rich and poor countries to stem flow of corrupt monies and make justice work for the poorest" and calls for independent judiciaries - implying they recognize the importance of justice, not just economic issues. Also "the difference between the countries at the top and the bottom is not so much due to their relative wealth or poverty, but to the development of their institutions. The top scorers have effective public sectors, with open contracting procedures, strong disclosure rules and access to information" - that is, access to information, not just money.

It's possible I'm not getting your point, but it seems to me that T.I. views corruption as more than just an economic phenomenon (although the impacts on economic issues are substanial).

Ruth said...

Hi Tricia,

There's not as much civil unrest right now, but we've had plenty in the recent past.

As far as whether corruption causes poverty or poverty causes corruption, dunno. It's a vicious circle. You can't get anything done unless you pay a bribe, and if you're the one asking for a bribe, chances are you didn't get paid for the last three months, and taking bribes is the only way you'll be able to feed your children. I don't know where it all started, and frankly, most days I can't envision it ending.